Exterior Cladding // 3 Things to Think About

Vertical Wood & Wood Slats + Black or Gray // Modern + Organic Cladding

Vertical Wood & Wood Slats + Black or Gray // Modern + Organic Cladding

I know, I know this is probably not the most exciting of posts but hey, you want your home to have curb appeal right? Have that wow factor where your neighbors or passers-by will take a second look at the exterior of your home & subtlely tell themselves, “I want that.”

These days, there are so many house cladding options on the market that it can be difficult to choose one that’s right for you and your home. But first, what is cladding? Simply, a covering of a structure or material. Whether you’re building a house for the first time, or fixing up an old house to look like new, there are many things to consider while you choose the cladding that is right for you.

1/ The B word again, your Budget

One of the biggest things to consider when choosing your cladding is your budget. The price of different materials can vary widely, both because of the material itself and because of the amount of time and expertise required to install each type of cladding.

Materials like stone and brick are toward the top of the price list, because they typically require a skilled team of experts for installation. Many homeowners are incapable of installing these materials themselves because of the required equipment and skills.

Materials like vinyl cladding, however, are typically cheaper because of the material but also because installation is much easier. In fact, some homeowners choose to install vinyl cladding themselves — though you should only do this if you feel comfortable.

2/ Your Taste

One of the biggest considerations when deciding on the cladding for your home is your taste and personality. Your home is a reflection of yourself, and its appearance is important.

Each type of cladding has a different look, and many can be personalized even further. There are many different types of wood cladding in different shapes, sizes, types of wood, and even directions. Vinyl cladding comes in a variety of shapes and colors as well.

Even brick has a ton of variety when it comes to the color and size of the bricks, the color of the grout, and whether or not you choose to paint over it.

When you step back and look at all the options out there — stucco, stone, brick, vinyl, wood, engineered materials, metal, fiber-cement, and so much more — every type has ways of further modifying and customizing to make sure your home looks exactly the way you want it to.

Farmhouse Classic in White or Gray Siding

Farmhouse Classic in White or Gray Siding

3/ Weathering

Another important consideration is how well your chosen material will hold up to the weather, whether that’s rain, snow, sun, wind, or anything else. Certain materials perform really well against common types of weather, but others don’t.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a certain material because it doesn’t hold up well against weather — it just means that if you decide to use that material, you’ll also need to install other forms of weather proofing to ensure the interior of your home doesn’t fall victim to the next big rain storm.

Honey-hued wood in gray or horizontal is amazing as an exterior cladding option

Honey-hued wood in gray or horizontal is amazing as an exterior cladding option

Brick does not hold up well against water, but does well against intense heat and sunshine. Stone typically holds up well against many types of weather. Wood does not do well against many types of weather, and requires much more upkeep because of that.

When it comes to choosing a material that will hold up to the elements, it’s best to consider your location and ask a professional about what would work best for you.

10 Contemporary Hallway Sconces

Hi friends! Folks, I know we’re so inundated with everything about the election, polls & politics. November 8th is almost here…before we get to the sconces, don’t forget to vote. Get to the polls before the 8th or on the 8th. Whatever day, time, just do it & get ‘er done!

Anywho, I’ve been sourcing hallways sconces for a couple of clients & man oh man, there’s so many gorgeous options out there. I like wall sconces in hallways but particularly right at the doorway, it’s like creating a red carpet feel at the start of a hall. I mean, nothing says you are fabulous than some lights as you enter right? So here are 10 contemporary hallway sconce options:

10-contemporary-hallway-sconces

1/ Trapeze 2/ Cora 3/ Agnes 4/ Delta 5/ Pillar Offset 6/ Tassel 7/ Seed 8/ Vibia 9/ Pris 10/ CounterBalance

I have so many favorites! Check out the progress of some of my projects on Insta!

I Love Omy

I came across this cheerful brand with creations & designs that evokes fun, joy & all about the fam coming together, Omy Design & Play. Their paper products are quirky & sweet and just maybe the answer to the blank wall in my son’s room. Here are their supersize posters of cities & countries!

united states omy poster

Omy Poster United States

Omy Poster New York

Omy Poster New York

Omy Poster London

Omy Poster London

Omy Poster Los Angeles

Omy Poster Los Angeles

Omy Poster

So cool right, wonderful for design and decorating a kid’s room. Not sure if I should wait until my son can color inside the lines #DesignDilemma.

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

3 Light Gray Paint Colors to Try

I’m doing some pretty bold colors in some spaces in our new home — navy blues, teals … I even wanted magenta but the husband refused pink’s more daring cousin. But in most parts of the house, we have mostly whites & grays.

Looking at a few past projects, it seems I do have some go-to light gray paints I absolutely love. Grays can be warm with brown/taupe undertones or cool with blue/green undertones so if you want a true gray, these are surefire hues to get that wall color right:

1/ Moonshine by Benjamin Moore as shown in this fun abode for a young client. It was the perfect backdrop for her spaces where we used navys, pinks & blue-greens.

2/ Collingwood by Benjamin Moore was the right amount of classic for this urban condo dining-kitchen turned feminine with a dash of pastel colors & a French patisserie feel.

3/ And last but not the least, Light French Gray from Sherwin-Williams is my all-time favorite and perfect for the Updated Classic project.

Light Gray Paint

What do you think? Any favorites? Have a great week everyone!

 

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

An Interview with Calvin Chen | Austin Modern Homes Tour 2016

Aside from looking and swooning over new amazing furnishings on a daily basis, I also drool and study the works of amazing architects that is shaping the feel and mood of our communities. This weekend, March 5, the Modern Homes Tour is happening again. High design is flourishing in Austin folks, thank you to innovative architecture & design brought about by visionaries & creative teams.

I caught up with Calvin Chen of Bercy Chen Studio for a quick Q & A on their featured home on the tour & what new, exciting projects are in store for them in & around Austin.

Front Exterior

1/ In your featured project for this year’s Modern Homes Tour on Townes Lane, I would imagine that the biggest challenge was building a footprint that preserved the protected root zones. Can you expound more on that & how this was achieved?

Yes, we had to work closely with the city around the CRZ. Architecturally, we wanted to optimize the massing and allow the resident to enjoy the courtyards and the mature oaks. 

interior austin modern homes tour 2016

2/ What materials were mostly used in the interior & exterior of the home to achieve the organic feel & tree-house milieu?

Lots of floor-to-ceiling glass, large multi-slide glass door to blur the inside and outside, wood floors.

3/ They say everything is bigger in Texas. How does your firm maintain the balance of building homes that are also sustainable yet with a big footprint?

We are in the service industry, we can advocate for sustainability and shrinking our footprints but ultimately the client has the final say. 

4/ How do you think the Austin building, developing & design landscape is evolving?

I think there are many local firms producing thoughtful design at a high level, the challenge is with larger scale development, sometimes they don’t have quite the same knowledge or sensitivity to the city. 

5/ What new exciting projects is your firm doing at the moment & how will it impact Austin?

We are designing 6 high tech office buildings and 4 data centers as part of the $250 million  BackYard development in Bee Cave, as well as $75 million Ethan’s View luxury town house/condo. 

http://www.ethansview.com/

We recently completed phase one of Oak Creek Village (Lucero) which includes 172 units of affordable housing. We are working on renovating phase two of the project to provide housing for homeless veterans. 

We are working on a 105 room boutique hotel in East Austin, and a hotel in Tulum, Mexico. 

We are also working on a series of new homes with the emphasis on better integration with nature, for example the Becoming Forest House, which was recently exhibited in Tokyo. The house is inspired by a surrealist Rene Magritte painting. 

 http://www.bcarc.com/Project/79

We are also working on a house in Davenport Ranch with load-bearing limestone walls. 

http://www.bcarc.com/Project/84

Back Porch ____________________________________

Thanks so much Calvin! Although my weekends usually consists of laundry & bathroom cleaning at the casa, I say, I’ll make it more exciting & inspiring this weekend. Wearing some comfortable shoes & touring with one of my gal pals, I’m ready! Here are the details:

When: March 5, 2016, 10 am to 5 pm

What: Tour these homes >>>

Buy your tickets here >>>

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

10 Design Resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it’s 2016? Anywho, I do not make personal resolutions anymore … I have practically the same goals I wrote on paper years ago. I thought of putting “making a blog post at least once a week” one of my resolutions this year, but heck, for me that’s extremely hard. I’m not making any excuses, it’s just not my thing anymore. Hello, the last one I made was April of 2015. But one thing I’m promising myself is to write when it’s my thing at the moment, when I enjoy it or when I know it will give some good information. Ummm, allow me to indulge in this notion a bit :). So, without further ado, here are 10 Design Resolutions for 2016.

1/ Commit to a bold new color.

JADE garden benjamin moore

Jade Garden by Benjamin Moore was the perfect pop of color for this project.

This may not be a not so new proposition but by golly, some are still in a rut of beiges {or grays for that matter}. I’m not saying using just neutrals is bad {and there certainly is an aesthetic & style where using neutral hues is a must} but maybe go for something a little more bold somewhere in the house. The powder room maybe? The guest bedroom? Heck, even the closet or pantry.

2/ Go for symmetry.

matching gray chairs

Identical settees are face to face in the second sitting area for a young couple’s Tarrytown abode.

You must think I’ve had way too much champagne celebrating the New Year as this idea again is not new news. What I’m getting at is recently, spaces or rooms that’s too symmetrical or balanced are given a bad rap so people tried so hard to make things not too symmetrical. Sometimes {or a lot}, symmetry is importan. You achieve this by having matching items and other times by having items that are not too matchy-matchy but still cohesive with each other.

3/ Take time to think about the details

details quatrefoil knobs

Brass quatrefoil doorknobs for the cupboards in this gorgeous kitchen was the right dose of sophistication.

Have you heard of the saying it’s all in the details? Well it is! These details make the whole vision come to life. Whether it’s choosing knobs, pulls or the hand towel in the bathroom, trust me, choosing the correct little pieces matter.

4/ Give wallpaper a chance

neutral geometric wallpaper

Taupe/Cream wallpaper in a trellis pattern adorns the stair landing at this Tarrytown home. The antelope carpet is not bad either!

Really, 2016 is the year for wallpaper at your casa! So get it going and commit to having a wall covered in one. Still having cold feet? Try having it first in a space you don’t normally frequent like the powder bath or have one in a muted color & pattern.

5/ Give drapery a chance

Gold and taupe drapery

Drapery in a gorgeous fabric gives depth, texture and layers to a room, just like in this Euro-traditional dining room.

A long time ago, I was one of the many people who didn’t believe in draperies. I felt they made a space too traditional and grandma-ish but really it depends on the fabric & the style you choose. To me, it makes windows picture perfect. I must admit, I’m still not a fan of swags and valances though.

6/ Add a splash of a different style

You may have heard the advice of looking at your wardrobe to find a common trend that will help cue you in what your home style should be. If your wardrobe evokes a more polished, classic style then Chesterfield sofas and Louis chairs maybe more your thing; or if you have tons of blacks & grays then tweed mid-century sofas maybe the best fit for you. But how about adding something a little more edgy to the dining room with your Louis chairs like an ultra-modern trapeze lighting or mix in a warm, exotic vibe with the tweed sofa by adding an end-table that screams global chic. Venture out in small doses though, too much out of your comfort zone is never good.

7/ Turn spaces you normally would not use as a functional nook

home office nook

The small hallway to the balcony at a client’s house becomes the extra space for getting bills and other home stuff organized.

I’ve seen it too often, spaces that becomes the catch-all space or room. Just don’t do it. Entry ways, mud rooms, hallways to balconies … give the space a purpose and design it for that purpose.

Every space is a chance for you to turn into something beautiful & functional at the same time.

8/ Put a lot of value to awesome lighting

brass dining lighting

A brass geometric chandelier was the perfect lighting over the Saarinen-inspired tulip table and mint green wishbone chairs for this dining room.

Aside from providing illumination, the right lighting sets the mood for a room or space. Style, size, placement, wattage…all of that matters.

9/ Don’t go shopping without a plan

For impulsive shoppers, this idea probably doesn’t sound good. But for home stuff where a cabinet costs substantially more than that new trendy cropped top you’ve been eyeing, impulsive buying is just not the right thing to do. Of course, once in a while you’ll find that gorgeous lamp that you are totally in love with; hopefully when that time comes, you already have a style concept down and you know exactly where that magnificent piece will go.

10/ Hire an interior designer

I’m a little self-serving here {ya think!} but really, if design is not really your cup of tea but you do want your space to be beautiful and cohesive; or you’ve got tons of ideas and you know the style you are going for but can’t seem to edit everything down; or time is not really on your side with work stuff that has overtaken your life or kids with places to go and projects that they need your help on … then it’s time to hire an interior designer. Of course, these are not the only reasons why you should hire one. The reason is specific to you, but whatever it is, take that jump and connect with one that’s the best fit for you.

Cheers to 2016 everyone! May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond.

*** All images are mine. Please ask for permission if you would like to use any of the images.***

Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

Single Graphic Art

Happy, absolutely beautiful Fall Monday all!

Stumbled across this image from a photo shoot we did last year. I haven’t had enough of wall collages yet but sometimes a single graphic art is all that’s needed. I asked my friend Kaleigh to make this YOU + ME graphic art which now graces our living room.

modern bedroom Shot at Kimber Modern; pillows by Stone Textile

Have an amazing week everyone!

Muted and Refreshing | Two Bedroom Boards

The bedroom is definitely one of those areas that begs for the words calm, refreshing, cozy. And for the right reasons of course — getting to that all-peaceful place called the REM state is just hard to reach if there’s just too make excitement and boldness around you. Today, I’m sharing two bedroom boards I made for two different clients: blue and seafoam bedroom

1. For the Modern Rustic Abode: Hues of light blues and sea foam with a mix of modern traditional rustic furniture pieces.

The progress? Most furnishings are in except no decisions yet on the lounge/reading area chairs. We took out the secretary desk chair combo and opted with a dresser. We redid the carpet in almost the same geometric pattern as the one in #6 except we went with a sandy hue. We were wanting a seagrass seafoam wall covering but opted for painting to save costs {We did a wallpaper in an accent wall in their living room though!}. And the draperies — we went with a solid velvet in charcoal.

neutral bedroom

 2. For the Laid-Back yet Sophisticated Condo –  neutrals galore in white, creams and camel with lots of mirrored pieces and a tall leather headboard with faux bois pattern.

Here’s what’s happening: She didn’t go for the headboard but there’s certainly mirrored pieces and studded upholstery and yes, a gorgeous and shapely mirror.

In design, flexibility is key. Though I had initial ideas after meeting with the client, these ideas continues to evolve and meld with the clients thoughts. Adaptability is key.

Did any of these Bedroom design boards appeal to you?

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Features | Make It Over Magazine

I was over the moon a few months back when the editors at Beckett and Engaged Media told me they were going to feature our current home in a before and after feature in a new magazine they are cooking up due December 2013. As a new designer, I am thoroughly grateful for this opportunity!  When you’ve got the chance, check it out maybe? 🙂 You’ll find tips of the little transformations we made to this 1920’s run-down-used-to-be-college-frat-house. The gorgeous images are by this photographer extraordinaire James Leasure. And I had a blast chatting with this American freelance writing living in the Netherlands, Tiffany Jansen.

Feature at Make it Over Magazine

And in another feature, I did one of my favorite things to do! That’s styling of course! I got to style a simple, affordable table {Hello ikea!} four different ways. The great photos are by Waytao Shing — may I just say it’s great to have talented friends! Thank You!

Make it over copy

The mag is available in news stands now {I got mine at Wal-Mart and a few more at Barnes and Noble — ha! Got too happy magazine shopping!}. I urge you, I urge you to get the mag 🙂 It is the premier issue and seriously full of ideas, tricks and design and decorating tips — no kidding! Issues will soon be available here as well, Home Magazines Special Issues.

Happy hump day everyone!

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Projects & Features |
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Project Update | Modern Rustic in Tarrytown

I can’t believe it’s Thursday already! I’ve been a little under the weather and have been just having Skype meetings and web conferences; the beauty of technology! I have a few projects ongoing right now. Beautiful and well-edited spaces take time but progress, big or small makes me so happy. Here’s what’s going on in one of them; a gorgeous home owned by a young, adorable couple in Tarrytown, Austin.

It all started with the consult of course, lots of inspiration then a design board. This is what I came up with for the foyer, living and dining area:

modern rustic design board

And here’s what has happened so far:

living dining room design

Clockwise from Top Left: X-based Dining Table via Restoration Hardware, The Clarissa Dining chairs from Anthropologie came with gorgeous leg & hue; identical Penelope settees from Jayson Home & Garden, we covered a wall with Rosey Posey Trellis in Vintage linen by Anna Spiro and after much hunting for the perfect Antelope carpet, we went with Helios.

We’re still waiting for other furniture pieces but slowly accessorizing the areas {honestly my favorite part}. The console styling in the foyer area has begun!

accessorizing console

The console is by Horchow. The Moroccan pouf is the couple’s, a gift to them and came straight from the souks!

More stuff to do! Hope to have final photos soon.

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.